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Jamaal Williams Fantasy Football Week 11

The Mundies: Meet at the Trees

by Scott Rinear

“The Mundies” is a bi-weekly column by Scott Rinear, awarding life and fantasy football. Now in its second year of publishing, this column presents an optimistic outlook on life and an analytical approach to the game. Read forward as Scott breaks down the power of family traditions and Jamaal Williams – fantasy football winner & hero of Week 11.

Hey, everybody.

Like most, my family celebrates Thanksgiving and Christmas. This column will discuss some of my family traditions linked to these holidays.

However, this writing is not about the holidays themselves. Instead, This is about family traditions and how important they are – especially in times of sadness or grief. 

For the past decade or so, we have visited the same tree farm to cut down our family’s Christmas tree. The tree farm is located on the outskirts of the small town of Rochester, Wash., about 90 minutes south of Seattle. 

The man who owns the farm has gotten used to our family showing up each year. He always has spare hand saws available to borrow, along with small rugs to kneel on while making your cut. The tree selection is always excellent, with mostly Douglas Firs to choose from but also Nordmann Firs, which are known for staying green long past Christmas. 

Still, you may wonder why we make this trek every year. There have to be Christmas trees available closer to home, right? 

Hunting for Snow

This was not always our way. When I was a kid, the perceived inconvenience in procuring our Christmas tree would have been more pronounced to the casual observer. 

Back then, my sister, brother and I would load up in the family van with my parents, and we would head up into the mountains. Having purchased a tree-cutting permit, we made our way up into the Cascade Mountains, venturing off Interstate 90 onto logging roads. We would meet up with my Aunt Kathy (my mom’s sister), Uncle Dave and my two cousins, Katy and Geoff.

I know now there were specific locations we were going where cutting down Christmas trees was allowed. But at the time, this adventure meant one thing: snow! For how far north Seattle is in latitude, we get very little snow at sea level. The amount of snow we see has increased over the last decade, but during my childhood, accumulating snow was a rarity. Part of the purpose of our tree adventures in the mountains was to climb high enough for us kids to experience and enjoy the snow. I didn’t really care about the tree. I only wanted the snow.

Recently I had a conversation with my dad and mentioned how after all this time I had a realization. I was willing to wager that this hunting for snow was a little different for the adults. While we played, my dad and the other adults had to traipse all over the hillside to find our tree, and the selection was few and far between (I am told). My dad just looked at me, half-smirking. He looked at me the way a parent looks at their child when the child gets older and realizes how much the parent has done for them.

Meet at the Trees

That childhood tradition has now been replaced with the 90-minute drive to Rochester. It is much closer to my parent’s house in Lacey, Wash., and has become just as much a staple of our year as the mountain adventures once were. Typically on the Sunday before Thanksgiving (sometimes the Sunday after), we meet at the trees. 

Jamaal Williams Fantasy Football Week 11

Indiana County, Pennslyvania, is the Christmas Tree Capital of the World.

My wife and daughters, my parents, and my sister’s and brother’s families show up with our handsaws and spend a few hours wandering through the rows of trees, engulfed by that glorious fresh branch tree smell. We catch up and joke around. My daughters and their cousins have a blast making up different games to play while running through the rows of trees. 

Other families show up, some with chainsaws. I’ve always preferred the handsaw for cutting a Christmas tree. A chainsaw seems like overkill. And instead of kneeling on a rug, I wear knee pads now (we are veterans at this farm now). These may seem like mundane details but, I get enjoyment from the details of traditions. 

It is an excellent tree farm. It can be difficult to choose the right tree because there are so many good options. At any given time when our family is there, you will see random gloves or hats placed on specific trees. Those are potential keepers. If you have ever been on a large tree farm, you know that if you do not mark the tree, you will never find it again. Once everyone has made their selections, we drop the tailgate of my dad’s truck and have hot cocoa and treats, continuing to laugh and joke around, just being with each other. 

The Reason for Traditions

And that is the basis of the whole endeavor. I mentioned I am a fan of the details, but with life happening at a sometimes furious pace, it is important to just be with each other. This was a given when I was young. But now, I am getting older. My sister and brother are getting older. We all now have our own children who love spending time with their grandparents. Our lives are busy, just like my parents’ lives were busy when we were the children in the equation. 

I am very fortunate, and I love my family and love being with them. Really, I always have (except when I was an idiot teenager). I realize this is not the family experience for everyone. So I try to pay that good fortune forward the only way I know how; By doing my best to show others the kindness and empathy that my family has always shown me.

Our family recently suffered a devastating loss. I will not be discussing it publicly at this time, but, suffice it to say, our meeting at the trees this year took on a special significance. 

We had a family sleepover at my sister’s house the night before. The cousins played and put on a musical concert for us while we adults caught up, joked around and commiserated. Some form of this sleepover will be added to this tradition from here on out. 

Then, we loaded up our vehicles – some seat swapping amongst the cousins occurred – and we all met at the tree farm. 

It was late morning – brisk, but the sun was out. It was a beautiful day. The life we have on this planet is short. We are reminded of this often as we make our way through each day. This day was beautiful because the sun shone brightly, but even more so because I got to just be with my family.

And now, The Mundie Awards.

This column was written before the “Monday Night Football” games in NFL Week 11.


The Mundie will be awarded to a player or players who were winners during the previous week(s), whether directly by scoring a lot of fantasy points or from a volume/opportunity standpoint that puts them in a position to score a lot of fantasy points moving forward.

Jamaal Williams (RB, Detroit Lions)

This will be the only award for this edition of “The Mundies.” This is a player who deserves extra attention. I and others really admire this man, both as an NFL player and a complete goofball who helps relieve some of the systemic seriousness of life.

I am happy to award this week’s Mundie Award to Lions’ RB Jamaal Williams – fantasy week-winner and real-life hype man . Williams balled out with three rushing TDs versus a stingy Giants’ defense and likely helped you win your week if you roster him. 

Williams is one of those players I’ve been rooting for since he broke into the NFL in 2017 with the Green Bay Packers. Drafted by the Packers in the fourth round of the 2017 NFL Draft, Williams saw significant starter snaps during the latter half of that season. The Packers also drafted Aaron Jones in the fifth round of that draft. Jones missed four games during his rookie season, and Williams was the starter from Week 10 on. From Week 9 through Week 16, Williams averaged 17.8 rush attempts per game. I bring up these 2017 numbers because that would be the last time Williams would see consistent double-digit rush attempt games until 2021.

Jamaal Williams Fantasy Football Week 11

Jamaal Williams has four fantasy PPR RB1 finishes this season.

When Jones was healthy, Williams played second fiddle from 2018 to 2020. And while I rooted for Williams, I am not arguing this decision by the Packers. Aaron Jones is an elite dual-threat RB in the NFL. But I did wish for Williams to get an opportunity somewhere else.

In 2021, Williams signed with the Detroit Lions. However, this was a year after they had used an early second-round pick on D’Andre Swift in 2020. Swift is another elite dual-threat RB, this one with much higher draft capital than Jones. But things have played out differently in Detroit. 

Entering the 2021 season, Lions Head Coach Dan Campbell was vocal about his plan to unleash Swift and Williams as a 1A-1B punch, similar to Alvin Kamara and Mark Ingram in New Orleans. Most people scoffed at this notion, assuming Swift would be the bell cow and Williams would be the next man up like he was in Green Bay. That has not been the case. We will never know what this backfield would have looked like had Swift not missed four games with a shoulder injury in 2021. Swift and Williams were splitting carries before that injury, with Swift dominating the receiving targets. 

Swift has now missed three games in 2022, and Williams has taken over the early down hammer role and dominated goal-line rushes. 

Since joining the Lions, Williams has played in 23 games and started 17 of them (73.9 percent). In 2022, Williams is averaging 15.9 rush attempts and 66.8 rushing yards per game while leading the league with 12 rushing TDs (all career highs). You can see in the chart below how his 2022 statistics stack up compared to his previous five seasons:

Williams is putting up career-high numbers, both total and per game, everywhere other than receiving output. His receiving numbers have plummeted in Detroit, but it makes sense. These are the roles Williams and Swift were put into by Dan Campbell. We all scoffed, but it is the reality. Swift is an elite pass-catcher, but multi-game injuries in both of his first two seasons point to the current RB strategy being the norm for at least the rest of 2022. 

D'Andre Swift

D’Andre Swift hasn’t seen over 12 touches since Week 1.

Swift will get some carries and dominate the RB receiving work. Williams will be the early down hammer and get the goal-line work. And it is hard to argue with what the Lions have been doing offensively this season. Yes, it has taken a three-game winning streak for the Lions to climb to a 4-6 record. However, that has much more to do with their defense than the offense. In four of their six losses, versus the likes of the Eagles, Vikings, Seahawks and Dolphins, the Lions’ offense averaged 32.8 points per game, losing each by four or fewer points. The Lions are averaging just over 30 points scored per game. Outside of back-to-back brutal road games in New England and Dallas, the Lions have had one of the better offenses in the NFL. 

Williams rushed for three TDs in Week 11 against the Giants. New York was the fifth-toughest matchup for fantasy RBs coming into the week. During the Lions’ current three-game winning streak, during which Swift has been active, Williams has averaged 19 rush attempts per game and scored four rushing TDs. 

On a points-per-game basis, Williams is the overall Points Per Reception (PPR) RB15. While Swift likely has not been 100 percent since returning to action in Week 7, we now have a four-game sample size of the two playing together and Williams continuing to dominate the rushing market. 

The icing on the cake? 

According to adjusted fantasy points allowed rankings, the Lions have the most fantasy-friendly remaining schedule for RBs, including the fantasy playoffs (Week 15-17). Williams will be a solid RB2 for the rest of the 2022 season, and based on his cost of draft acquisition, he will likely be on a good percentage of championship rosters this year. 

Thank you so much for reading! As I have moved toward more analytics-based fantasy football content, my goal is to provide that content in a manner that is as easy to digest as possible. Advanced analytics are very useful, and I think can be explained simply and logically. Please feel free to reach out to me on Twitter to explain more about any of the analytical concepts I present in these columns, my DMs are always open.

Thank you so much for reading my analysis on the NFL Week 11 winner, Jamaal Williams! As I have moved toward more analytics-based fantasy football content, my goal is to provide that content in a manner that is as easy to digest as possible.

Advanced analytics are very useful, and I think can be explained simply and logically. Please feel free to reach out to me to explain more about the analytical concepts I present in these columns. My Direct Messages (DMs) are always open.

And as always, find me on Twitter, talking fantasy football, joking around, posting GIFs and lending my support where it’s needed @MunderDifflinFF.

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